Customs regulations when moving internationally

Customs regulations when moving internationally

A person with a suitcase at a customs office

France, the country of medieval cities, alpine villages, and Mediterranean beaches. Therefore, a perfect place to relocate to. This amazing country extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine River to the Atlantic Ocean. No matter which part of France you choose to relocate to, you won’t make a mistake. However, when moving internationally, the customs regulations are one of the things you need to get familiar with before you can relocate anywhere in the world. So, moving to France can be the best decision in your life if you do it the right way. This is especially true if you enjoy drinking good wine on sunny beaches.

When it comes to customs regulations for moving to France, here are some things you need to know first.

Customs regulations when moving internationally - moving to France

Customs are mandatory for moving, shipping, importing, and exporting goods and items. Without passing them, you will not be able to enter the country. Thus, you will have to be extra careful when this is concerned. Here are some of the things you will need to take into consideration if you plan on moving to France:

  • All shipments go through inspection. There are some goods you cannot ship to France. Therefore, all of your items need to pass customs inspection. The good thing is that you do not need to be present during the customs clearance process.
  • You will need to have a permanent residence in France. To have no limit for air or ocean shipments, you will need to reside in France permanently.
  • Duty-free shipping. Your items need to be in your possession for at least six months to be eligible for duty-free shipping. However, you will need to keep them for another year more, starting from the import date. That means you can’t sell your imported vehicle after only a few months of living in France, for example.
  • The inventory list is a must. During a move preparation, you should make an inventory list. No matter how many shipments you plan to carry out, all items need to be on the inventory list first. The list also needs to be translated into French.


Inventory list papers

Additional documents you will need

If you already have your inventory list along with a proof of permanent residence, you will also need some other customs regulations documents. Therefore, you will need a passport and a visa. You will also need a Declaration of Duty Exemption, and you can easily find the form for it on French Customs offices or their website. However, if you are relocating to France for a job, you will need a work permit, proof of employment, or letter of transfer. You should ask your employer to fill these forms for you. Keep in mind that you will need to have a delivery address in France to receive your belongings.

People signing documents.

The most important thing is to feel relaxed in the process of moving and transporting your belongings to France. This is why you might need some professional help to complete your import process. Having someone who is well-educated, knowledgeable, and proficient when this is concerned is a must. For this reason, you can always sign a contract with a customs broker to help you with your documentation. They will know exactly which documentation you will need to transport anything to France.

Everything else you will need to know about customs regulations when moving internationally

Here is a list of prohibited items you should not have in your possession when crossing the border.

  • Drugs/narcotics. You must never have any drugs or narcotics without medical permission when you are crossing a border. The same works for shipping and import/export.
  • Firearms without permit/ammunition/explosives. This goes without saying – you cannot ship or expect a shipment of illegal weaponry. This is a significant offense, and it can get you in massive trouble, so please try to keep this in mind.
  • Animal hide, ivory, live plants. Anything that is illegal in most countries is also prohibited in France. Thus, you are not allowed to import ivory, animal hide/skin, and live plants.
  • Paints and polishes. These are considered environmentally-hazardous materials, and you will not be allowed to import them into the country.

Last bits of information you will need

There is something else you should consider when the customs regulations are concerned. First and foremost, you can always rely on your moving company to help you out during the process. Moreover, having someone skilled and professional is still a good idea when import/export is concerned. You will need to worry about so many things when crossing the border or dealing with customs regulation that you might forget some crucial things. This is why you might need all the professional help you can get.

A woman with a dog at a border.

Yet another thing you might need help with is relocating with pets across the border. You will need a Certificate of Vaccination and a Health Certificate, both of which need to be dated less than ten days before arrival. Also, you cannot bring along any endangered and exotic pets due to the balance in the ecosystem. If your dog is a dangerous breed, then you will not be able to relocate with it, unless you have a registered pedigree. For anything else, feel free to have a long chat with your customs broker. Good luck!